General secretary, Conference of European Churches
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I am standing by a piece of the Berlin wall, symbol of the old Europe of division. Back in the days of the cold war, we in the European Churches often used to say: The walls of separation don't reach to heaven. And it is still a saying worth remembering today, because walls of separation aren't only made of concrete.
And we, the European churches, are deeply grateful and indebted to the World fellowship of Christians and Churches because we are united together in the search for justice and peace and reconciliation.
And I particularly like in this moment to greet the churches in the United States, because I well remember how, early last year as the world moved toward war in Iraq, you sent church leaders over to Europe to speak with the governments in London, Berlin, Paris, Moscow even and so on. And how impressed we were by the steady solid commitment to peace, to finding an alternative to the violent solution to conflict.
Some people say to me now: "Well, we failed, didn't we? We failed as churches to stop a war". But I don't think that's
way to look at
In the Bible, we are reminded again and again that the truly prophetic word in the name of God, in the name of Christ, isn't like a push-button mechanism that produces instant results. It's more like the seed that falls into the ground, the drop of water that goes into the soil and, as time goes on, it produces life. It moves towards a fulfilment in God's own time, and that's what we must remember and bear in mind and help each other to remember as we support each other.
After all not only do the walls of separation not reach to Heaven; they don't last forever either, because Christ is our peace.
Message delivered on 21 September, 2004, to mark the observance of the International Day of Prayer for Peace.
, British Baptist historian and general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, has been a proponent for peace not only in Europe but internationally, as well. Clements has called upon the churches of Europe to unify their stance on international policy and to seek the promotion of peace throughout the world. Clements has said, "We can not both believe in Christ who 'is our Peace' (Ephesians 2:14) and believe in war as an accepted instrument of international policy."
Luca Negro +41-22-791-6485 email@example.com
Last edited on
September 19, 2004